Total eclipse of the dog

Yesterday was kind of a fun day, till it wasn’t.

I did all sorts of things on my vacation-at-home list that I’ve been meaning to get to and never do. For example, I called the dry cleaner: Did I have stuff there?

Yes, ma’am, you’ve had clothes here for a year. I changed my phone number in March, so they couldn’t even REACH me. Nice. So I was getting all that kind of stuff done,

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I also hotly and sweatily hooked my car’s Bluetooth up to my new phone. My, that was simple and fun.

with plans to go to work to see the eclipse, because work invited us all to watch it from the loading dock, and they were giving us glasses and everything.

And speaking of changing my phone number (fruitlessly), Ned called. To tell you the truth, I haven’t talked to him lately. “You want to come see the eclipse at my work?” Ned asked. He works kind of far out. Not that his work is far out, man. But it’s field-ish. Also, the whole time I’ve been knowing Ned, I’ve heard about his coworkers and have only ever met one of them. So I said okay to the man (™ When Harry Met Sally).

IMG_9678.jpgAs soon as I got there, it clouded up. This sums up my life.

But, oh my god. I’d only ever been to work with Ned after hours, and I got to see him be the fancy president, and I got to finally put a face to all those names. Literally. I brought faces. Put them on people’s name tags.

Also, Ned’s office. He became president of his company the very day I moved out, and isn’t just that the way of my people. Oh, you’re gonna start to make scads of money? Goodbye!

IMG_9675.JPGNed moved offices when that happened, so I’d never been to his tidy, full-of-personal-effects new office before this. I ate his Whole Foods, 287% cacao, extra kale dark chocolate and looked around.

IMG_9676.JPGI was particularly enamored of his medicine collection. “Were you stuffed up?” I asked him, fondling his Sudafed. “At one point, yes,” said Ned, never looking up from his fancy email he was composing. “Dear Penthouse Forum, I never thought it would happen to me…”

And anyway, right then I knew, because I know how Ned is. That Sudafed had been there, open, since December. I put the exposed tablets back in the box, at least.

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The number-one sales tool: bananas.

“Say, those are some bananas,” I mentioned, and still-emailing Ned said, “Are you eating my Whole Foods chocolate?”

“Noh,” I said, around the chocolate.

“Heyyyy,” I said, gathering intel. “Where’s your Bye Bye, Pie coffee cup?” I gave that to Ned years ago, and he always drank his work coffee out of it.

“Oh, I threw that away,” he said, looking sheepish. “And I didn’t just throw it away, I THREW it in the trash as HARD as I could.”

“Here at work? Where you’re…the president?”

“Yes,”

“When?”

“When we weren’t speaking.”

“Which time?”

“The big time.”

He means December through February of this past year. We didn’t see each other (or speak) for 55 days. You know, this reminds me, I really need to make Book of June coffee mugs. What should the slogan be?

My torrid stupid relationship with Ned notwithstanding, I kept going to the window to see if miraculously the sun was coming out, and finally I got bored with Ned’s constant work during the workday, so I went outside, and ENJOYED THE DAMN RAIN.

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I call this “Pre-Eclipse Canckles.” 

But do you know what happened? Do you? Right when the eclipse was at its peak, the clouds parted, and all Ned’s coworkers and I saw the eclipse! We saw it! Everyone was annoyed with me because I had a bottle of water, my phone, the eclipse glasses, and also 10 baby kittens, and I kept asking people to hold stuff.

 

“Will you just put the water DOWN?” asked Ned. “Really,” said one of his coworkers.

No one likes me.

Anyway, water on the ground to absorb poison, I took this amazing shot of the eclipse, while I had eclipse glasses on and could not see what I was doing. I think you’ll agree I should call Newsweek to see if they’ll print it.

IMG_9685.JPGYou know what I shoulda done? Is on (Face)Book of June, have everyone put up their eclipse photos from all across this land of ours. This land is your land. This land is my land. This land is Knott’s Landing. This Michael Landon. Welcome to my head.

Anyway, so I got to see the eclipse, and it was very exciting, and every once in awhile I’d see old Ned looking at me like I hung the eclipsed moon, so I thought I’d better take my leave and figure out how many points are in pretentious Whole Foods chocolates.

My afternoon consisted of getting stuff done on my big list, including my freelance work, and finally it was time to walk Edsel, and that is when the terrible, awful thing happened. ONE YEAR TO THE DAY of The Lottie Incident.

Our walk was great, at first. It was nice out, and we saw a cute little girl with June Hair in the park. She was on the slides with a man who had a pit mix up there with them. She shouted hello to us as we walked by. “This is just my neighbor,” she screeched, and the neighbor

THE HOT HOTTIE HOT HOT neighbor,

threw his head back and laughed.

“Hello, neighbor!” I said, trying to look cute. Sadly, this was one of those playgrounds without a way-back machine, so I failed.

We’d just left the park and took a back street toward home, and I keep thinking now, if we’d just taken a different street, or left a little later. But we didn’t.

A man, his wife, their baby in a stroller and their ancient white-faced Tallulah-looking dog were headed toward us. The dog was loping along beside them.

Edsel got his usual pull at the leash, whine, insane thing he does when a dog approaches, so I placed us behind a car, which is what our trainer said to do last year when I had Lottle.

I’m getting anxious just writing this.

They were walking past us on the other side of the car, and Edsel was straining to see,

and he got out of his collar.

I have no idea how he did, as his collar is on securely, but he may have been pulling so hard that there was a gap.

I felt him escape and yelled, OH NO as he headed as fast as he could for that poor dog, growling.

“No!” I yelled. I am shaking writing this. Goddammit. Edsel had that dog by the throat, that poor old dog, who of course fought back. I started running over, screaming, I AM SO SORRY to that family. The mom moved her stroller way far away, can you blame her, and the dad–this was amazing–got Edsel by the head. Just grabbed his head, having dropped his own dog.

I literally saw saliva drip from Edsel’s fang. I saw it. If that guy’s dog hadn’t been docile and old, he could have been attacked, being in the middle of that dogfight.

“I am so sorry,” I said a hundred times. “He got out of his collar!’ I was shaking as I slipped it back on his stupid-ass dog head, and Eds went with me quietly.

“Is your dog okay?” I asked the man. Neither person had said a THING to me. They hate me. Clearly.

“I can’t tell,” the guy said. “I don’t see blood.”

In all, Edsel had 10 or 15 seconds to bite that dog. He probably didn’t do any real damage. But I told the couple my address and told them to come over should they need to go to the vet.

I never want to walk Edsel again. I am so shaken up by this. They must have been terrified for their baby, not to mention their ancient dog. Every time I woke up last night I thought of it again.

Now I have a headache, so I will sign off.

Traumatizedly,

June

 

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Author: June

At one point, I was sort of hot, in a "she's 27 and probably a 7" kind of a way. Now I'm old and have to develop a charming personality. Guess how that's going.

69 thoughts on “Total eclipse of the dog”

  1. Oh my god – how horrible!! Completely understandably traumatized! I am so sorry. No advice, just shocked at Edz and sorry for you.

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  2. What an awful feeling for all of you! No one would prefer to be on either side of such debacles.

    I have no solutions, only empathy for your heart and prayer for a solution to come forth!!

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  3. I’m so sorry, June. I know Edsel is, too. He never wants to upset you. I wish there was a good and easy answer for all this. Bless his heart (and I mean that in the best possible way) – I’m sad for both of you.

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  4. Oh June, poor Edsel, other than the “he is a dog” reason, wish we could figure out his behavior. I know that was scary and hopefully the other dog is fine. Glad you got to see the eclipse and eat Ned’s office chocolate. He didn’t need it anyway since he had so many bananas. Now, can I obnoxiously ask you if you could share brand and style of your shoes because they are the bomb.

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  5. Oh, that whole scenario sounds so scary! No wonder you have a headache…egads. I was relieved to get to the end and read that neither the old doggie nor the baby were hurt because my mind went all kinds of horrible places. But, Edsel, oh Edsel, what were you thinking, Dude??

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  6. I so wish animals could talk and tell us why they do the things they do. If you’d be more comfortable walking him in a harness I have an extra one I can send you. I hate it for both of you that you’re worried about taking him on more walks. Damnit, what a lousy ending to your day. I do, seriously, wonder if the eclipse had something to do with it. An animal behaviorist once explained my old dogs aggressive behavior as being a result of changes in atmospheric conditions. Of course she could have just been full of crap, too. I don’t. Know.

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  7. Oh, wow! I’m so sorry this happened to you. I have 3 dogs that go crazy when they see ANYTHING pass our house and they have gotten off leash, too. It happens, but I know how you felt at the time. I’m glad the dog wasn’t hurt. Hang in there!

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  8. First you stress me out with stuff at the dry cleaner’s for over a year, then the disarray in Ned’s office (good banana / bad banana plus the meds put me over the edge) (put the meds away, NED), plus Ned in general. Edsel was the cherry on the top of that stresscake. WTF, Edsel? I agree with Karen in VB’s thought about the eclipse. Apparently there were some whacked out flamingos …. never mind. But Edsel is the the flamingo of the dog world, so….

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  9. My husband was walking our Ernest T Bass yesterday morning and they were attacked by 2 dogs. We spent the whole day going to the doctor and the vet. And filing reports. And posting on Next Door. And all the crap that goes along with these things. It was stressful.
    And I know how you feel because it just as easily could have been the other way round. Ernest T Bass very well could have been the aggressor. But yesterday, he was the old, recovering from knee surgery dog who took the bites and didn’t fight back. He let his dad do it for him. Maybe he knew with his bad leg he would not be able to keep up?

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  10. They said that the eclipse would cause animals to act different. You should invest in a harness, they are much easier to control in those situations and you don’t feel like you are choking them when they try and get ahead of you. I know you didn’t ask for advice but there it is. You are welcome.

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    1. I figure people are going to be giving me advice today. Of course I have thought of a trainer, and I’ve thought of a harness. But now I am so scared of this dog. What happens if his leash breaks whether he has a harness on or not?

      >

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      1. A Velcro muzzle is what our vet wrapped around elderly Eppie’s crinkled-up snarling mouth when he was doing things to the parts she didn’t want things done to. Here you go, Edz, now you can sip your opponent through a straw.

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      2. It’s terrifying having a dog you can’t trust. Advice alert: you could do a harness and a collar – 2 leashes. For the collar you could do a martingale – they pull tight (without the prongs) if they pull. So maybe both? It sucks, there’s no getting around that.

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        1. This is what we have to do with our dog. She is he sweetest, most loving girl inside our house. Out in public she is too unpredictable. Some days nothing fazes her, other days every dog she sees sets her off. We have worked with a trainer and use the type of harness and martingale he suggests. He told us that she is the hardest dog he’s ever worked with. So, June, sometimes you do all the right things and your dog can still be an asshole. I’m sorry you had a sucky day.

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  11. Ugh. I had to scroll to the end… my heart was pounding. Just the other day our neighbor (who I abhor) had her pit mix out in her front yard. She controls this dog with many loud screams and lots of swears – newsflash: it doesn’t work. And yet she never puts that dog on a leash. A mom (new to the neighborhood) with her child in a stroller came down the street with her two REALLY BIG DOGS – one is a Rottweiler, the other some kind of bear or moose. Anyway, I predicted the future right then and prayed I was wrong, but no. That dog went right after those two big giants. It was a snarling, growling, snapping, extravaganza. So dramatically upsetting. The mom was remarkably calm. She dropped her leashes and JUST KEPT WALKING. And her dogs – they just stopped fighting and followed her. I have no idea what kind of witch she is, but I will attempt to find out the next time I see her.

    All that is to say I am sorry Edsel was not the calm dog in this scenario. THIS IS NOT ADVICE but have you tried a harness for him? We switched to one for our dog who has pulled out of her collar one too many times. I don’t remember the brand, but it is escape proof. And it has a hand hold at the back for times that you don’t want to be grabbing for a neck… like, well, you know.

    Now I’ll go back and enjoy the rest – the worst has already happened.

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  12. First I’m crying laughing and then crying with you over the stress. I had a foster dog that was leash aggressive so when unleashed dogs came near us it was not pretty. When she once got out of her collar I’m surprised I didn’t pee my pants in fear. When that happened I started researching harnesses and I never walked her or any other dog without them wearing one. I got her this one because it had two strong clips and d-rings on top of that: http://usak9outfitters.com/CCSS.htm

    My current dog who is a dream and doesn’t need anything to walk still wears one (http://www.2houndsdesign.com/Freedom-No-Pull-Harness/), and I believe it saved her life. Both of the harnesses I’ve used have the leash attachment on the mid-back. We had an large unruly dog in our neighborhood whose owners thought it was adorable to let her run loose. One day she saw us and tore right toward my dog. Without thinking I used the leash to hoist her right up – it didn’t hurt her because the weight was distributed fairly evenly on her back – and I had her in my arms so the dog was jumping on me, snapping & growling to get to her. I stupidly just stood there screaming at the unruly dog’s owner whose advice to me was to “calm down”. So I just kept screaming and standing there… forgetting the pepper spray I had in my hand.

    You think on your feet so well June, I admire that. Hope your headache disappears quickly and Ned eats the old banana today!

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  13. I feel Just Paula’s stress. Not about the dry cleaners or Ned’s office, but about Edsel. How awful for all involved. Hope their dog is okay and your headache heals.

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  14. Oh dear, so stressful for everyone concerned. This isn’t advice, just experience-our dog became very aggressive with other dogs and after the last scary experience and paying $2000 in vet bills for the other dog, we added an umbrella policy to our home owners insurance in case we were ever sued. $18 a month for $1,000,000 worth of protection. Hope we never have to use it.

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    1. Becky , do how mind sharing how that works ? We asked an agent and were just given the run around . We don’t have dogs but we wanted it for protection for just the possibility of someone sue – happy .

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  15. I’m so sorry. No advice from me, I don’t know what to suggest besides what’s already been said.
    Such a lovely post until it wasn’t.
    But I have to tell you, your shoes are too cute!!

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  16. Argh! After reading that, I need one of Ned’s Zantac’s. They’re the ones for stomach issues, right? No advice here, just cats without collars.

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  17. Oh, Edsel! What’s wrong, sweetie? I feel so bad for both Edsel and you, June. I’m hopeful that the old dog is okay. On the bright side, your glasses are perfect on you! It’s like they were custom-made just for you. Plus also too, the banana on the left looks perfect; the one on the right is juuust about ready to be thrown away.

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  18. I have never been so terrified reading one of your posts, and I think that’s saying something after all these years. I feel nauseous. I wonder if Ned has any zofran I can have.

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  19. Oh, Edsel. What goes on in that little brain of his? Is there any way you can call the/a pet psychic? Yes, I’m serious about that. And I agree that you need a harness for him. And possibly a muzzle. And tie a red ribbon onto his leash. This lets others know to keep away from him.

    Look at Mr. FancyPants President Ned hard at work. And I got a kick out of the side effects of his medicine: May cause drowsiness, dizziness and blurred vision. Sign me up!

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  20. I’m so sorry. Fear and apprehension isn’t what a dog’s human should feel. We don’t deal with aggressive behaviour but we do have a runner and I dread walking her (even though she needs it to stay calm in her skin) because she does the neck contortionist act to get it of her collar. I now use a harness plus a prong collar plus the collar she has with her tags and three separate leashes in different lengths. I would saddle that dog if I could. No controversy over the prong collar, please. I know it’s a hot button for many but it works well for us and I’ve put it on my thigh so I’m aware of what it feels like.

    “The big time” made me giggle.
    Lovely post, pretty June. I hope your headache is short-lived and you can get back to vacationing.

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  21. Dammit Edsul!

    Shit, I just realized I placed an Amazon order and forgot to click from here. Thankfully, there’s lots of ordering in my near future. Hashtag college freshman dorm shopping.

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  22. Dammit, that sucks about Edsel. Do you just walk him because he likes it? I refuse to walk my dog anymore for this reason. She stays in our fenced in yard and I throw a ball for her exercise. Too bad for her. If she wasn’t a jerk she could go for walks again.

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  23. Edsel! Dude! You need to calm down. I wonder if we could stage an intervention, maybe get him into rehab. It’s really nerve-wracking to have a dog that is unpredictable. I suffered through that with my dog Jake many years ago. He was as calm and lovable as a baby kitten when he was with me or another regular family member. But if a stranger got within ten feet of him he turned into a snarling, vicious beast. This happened with family who didn’t come around very often. Everyone was scared of him. I loved him more than any other dog I have ever owned–he was like my kid–we would talk to one another like he was people. I swear he understood everything I said. We tried everything and nothing worked. It killed me when he passed but it was sort of a relief as well.
    He was a lab/chow mix and the vet said this was a very bad combination, personality wise.
    I’m sorry. I know this didn’t help you one iota. I don’t even know why I left you this comment. (Way to make this all about you, Leeuna!!) But I do understand your situation and I feel awful for you.

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    1. I had a boyfriend with a lab/chow, and one day somebody came to sell him something or leave a political leaflet or whatever, and that lab/chow burst through the screen door and bit her right on the hind end. As my grandmother would call it.

      >

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      1. When one of my springer spaniels had puppies many years ago, my mother came over to see them a few days later. Mama dog bit her on the hind end and also too the butt. I guess she thought my mom was too close to her babies. Believe me when I say she wasn’t. I can’t help but snicker a little at this now, but at the time it wasn’t funny. My mother wasn’t even fond of dogs except for tiny foo-foo ones.

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  24. OH MY GOODNESS! My heart is pounding. “…I felt him slip out of the collar…” my heart sank. I am so sorry this happened. I’m so glad the old dog’s owner was able to grab Edsel by the head, he was soooo brave doing that. No suggestions/advice, just so thankful there were no injuries. I hope your headache goes away quickly.

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  25. Well, this was very stressy! OMG.
    Maybe Ned’s Pharmacy of Phun has something for Edsel. That office!! I understand the need for files/papers on a desk, but the papers hanging over the side of the desk and the precarious stack of papers balanced there to Ned’s left past the phone is about to send me over the edge. Also the binders going in wonky directions on the shelf. ALLLL that’s a NO. Have mercy!

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  26. Mother effing Edsel. I know what it feels like to be afraid of your dog. It’s miserable. You love them but they’re unpredictable and it’s so upsetting. So sorry, lady.

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  27. Get an Easy Walk harness and one of those leashes with a loop for holding onto close to his collar. I think they call them “training leashes” or something – so you can have another way to hold him close to you when you inevitably pass other dogs. Both items I had to get after paying too many people’s vet bills.

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  28. Dear June,

    Coffee cup ideas:
    “A Taste of June~ bookofjune.com”
    “Where Readers Get Read ~bookofjune.com”
    P.S. I help take care of a dog that’s very protective of the people he owns. We can never take this dog for a walk in conventional ways. Thankfully he lives on a ranch and we play ball and other games for entertainment. Hope life carries on in peace for you, cats, and Mr. Eds.

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  29. Delurking today to say I’m so sorry this happened to you and Edsel. I foster dogs with behavioral issues and have had a similar situation. Some of the harnesses/collars people have mentioned have helped me. But I can’t imagine how scary this is for you to deal with alone.

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  30. Wow- scary for all . I admire you for taking ownership of what happened . When a stranger’s dog , which was leashed , attacked me ( with no dog – just me ) on our walking track , the lady blamed ME . Stupid me was so scared , I didn’t even think to call the police and file a report . It happened in the blink of eye . I never , never walk anywhere I see a dog, leashed or not . So I’ve basically quit walking – it’s not worth the risk , and the woman was petite and old like me , and she couldn’t control her dog . I know it has to mean a LOT to the couple that you tried and gave them your name . Wish I knew how to help – but , remember , you did the right thing . And we all know you’ve tried and tried and aren’t giving up !

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  31. RECOMMENDATION Alert: If Eds typically pulls on the leash, he will pull harder and more effectively in a harness. They are after all meant for sled dogs to more efficiently put their weight into the harness to pull. That will not help you in the least. I would recommend a fine stim e-collar and train him to it. It can easily pop them out of the state they get in when in prey mode, or “lost my mind” mode without harming him. I’ve also used a pinch collar for those who like to lunge or try to back out of their collars. Again, you can control him with very little effort or strength by using the correct tool. If neither of these methods is satisfactory, (i’ve used both to control my high prey drive, not so good at listening when there is a rabbit to chase, 100lb GSD) you can always try the martingale which is a collar that when pulled on tightens to a fit point that even a greyhound can’t back out of. It does not choke the dog like a choke chain because it stops at the d-ring, but if fit properly to the dogs neck doesn’t allow it to back out past the jaw.

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  32. I have no advice or suggestions, but I’m sorry for what happened. Hope everyone’s okay. I love Eds and love that you still haven’t sent him to the glue factory. Try to enjoy the rest of your vacation, you’ve earned it!

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  33. Edsel! What the heck were you thinking?!? I can’t even imagine how scary that was. One of the dogs my family had when I was a teenager, got increasingly protective of us and aggressive toward other people and dogs, the older he got. He was so sweet toward us, but God help anybody who knocked on our front door or came up to me when I was walking him! Poor pup got loose and was hit by a car. We dearly loved him, but I always felt like my Mom was a tiny bit relieved, because he had really become a problem. I wonder if Edz feels an added pressure to protect you, now that it’s just him? I’m glad that it didn’t turn out as badly as it could have. Sounds like the other geezer dog is fine.

    That being said, I laughed out loud at the eclipse picture! Hey, Ned inviting you to work to watch the eclipse/meet his employees. That sounds almost like a little commitment thing!

    Also, my votes for the BBP mug would be “No Speaking During ‘The Big Time'” or “Planning the Demise of CoWs” or “One Hates, We ALL Hate!”

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  34. My daughter has been watching ghost stories a lot lately, but none of them are as scary as this story! I’m glad there were no injuries. I’m going to jump on the advice bandwagon – have you considered seeing a therapist about your anxiety when walking Edsel? It’s possible he’s picking up on your anxiety, and he might think that you are feeling threatened by the other dogs instead of his behavior.

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  35. Whatever are you going to do? My two almost perfect dogs, when they are home, bark like crazy when walking at EVERYTHING that is coming towards or by us. I’ve tried the bark collars and all they did was make stinking dogs and one a quivering mess. They are unstoppable. So far my only resort is walking them when I hope no one is out which isn’t a solution for me. When a person comes to me, to tell me how cute they are (ha) they shut up and ever so cute jump up usually on the admiringly person. If you come upon a solution, please share it with me. How do you get the darn dogs stop protecting me? Protecting or not there must be an answer. Edsel is lucky to have you adore him. How does this happen? Are our lives that empty?

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